Who Portrayed the Best Joker?
If you’re like most people then you’d more than likely say that Heath Ledger portrayed the best Joker of all time.
But have you really appreciated every Joker for what they have brought to the table?
Most people today won’t even acknowledge the Joker who started it all on TV, Cesar Romero (R.I.P.), because frankly, the acting, costumes and sound effects (BOOM, POW, KABAAAM — even though I personally love them) are pretty dumb to see in this day in age. But nonetheless, lets dive into the 1966 Joker.
Besides not wanting to shave his mustache, Cesar did a fantastic job in bringing the fun clown aspect that really made the Joker, the Joker. Some of his crimes were for little more than goofy amusement, while others were far more dangerous. In the 1960s series the only remark on Joker’s pre crime life is a remark by Batman that Joker in his youth had been a hypnotist.
One advantage this Joker has over the others is that he, just like the Joker in the comics, was able to play off multiple schemes in every episode which of course is the advantage point when you’re in a TV series.
Even though Batman defeated him many times, the felonious funnyman never rested until the last laugh was his.
His main mission against Batman was to unmask him and reveal his true identity. Even though he never did he did come close a few times.
ADVANTAGE: Having multiple schemes against Batman.
So now onto the Jack Nicholson Joker or should I say “Jack Napier.” This Joker was a hood whose appearance was altered by chemicals (just like in the comic The Killing Joke…kinda).
Though they threw it off by adding a name to the Joker, Jack did a fantastic job in portraying a Gangster/Clown which I’m sure was influenced by all the gangster movies that came out in the 80's.
In the movie Jack and an accomplice were the ones who mugged Bruce Wayne’s parents. When Thomas interceded to protect his family, Jack stepped from the shadows and shot both him and Martha in cold-blood. Jack inquired to young Bruce Wayne: “Tell me, kid, you ever danced with the Devil by the pale moonlight?”. Jack cocked the hammer of his revolver and was about to shoot him, but before he could fire, his panicked partner urged him to leave: “Let’s go, Jack!”. Jack uncocked his gun, decided to spare the boy and turned to leave while saying: “See you around, kid”.
Jack Nicholson mentioned he did take a deep dive as Joker, though not as deep as Heath, I’d say Nicholson did add his own gangster style to the Joker.
ADVANTAGE: Bringing the “Gangster” style/ sticking to the comics by being dumped in chemicals.
Ahhhhh, yes…Heath friggin’ Ledger (R.I.P.) hands down is probably the most dedicated Joker to date. I mean locking himself in a hotel room for hours perfecting his part is either genius or insane. In my eyes, genius, besides all the pills he was taking in.
I can still watch The Dark Knight and be amazed at his performance as the Joker, though the Joker’s pale white skin complexion is permanent it did not take away from scenes like the “magic pencil trick.”
Jack Nicholson was interviewed after the death of Heath where he said “I warned him” referring to the drugs he was taking to perfect the role. Heath explained in an interview that he was sleeping only about 2 hours a DAY preparing himself for the Joker.
Ledger had explained that in his early career he did not attach himself seriously in his movies, but that changed at age 22 when he started watching some of his films, realizing they were movies he himself wouldn’t watch.
Heath Ledger described the Joker as a “psychopathic, mass murdering, schizophrenic clown with zero empathy.” Highlighting the opportunity for freshness, the actor aimed for a new and different interpretation of the character, separate from previous film incarnations.
On January 22, 2008, after he had completed filming The Dark Knight, Ledger died, aged only 28, of an accidental prescription drug overdose. Though he’s not with us today, Heath Ledger will forever be known as the actor that made the Joker popular in this day in age.
ADVANTAGE: Amazing performance!
So far the Jared Leto Joker has gotten mixed opinions. Some people really HATE the tattoos and others believe he won’t come close to Heath Ledgers performance.
What I’ve personally seen from the trailers and what I’ve read about his performance, I must say I’m pretty damn excited to see what he has in store for us. As for the tattoos, let’s HOPE there’s a GREAT explanation as to why he has them.
From what we know so far Margot Robbie or “Harley Quinn” said his performance was “pretty impressive.” She continued to explain how she only saw Jared Leto ONCE the whole time, the rest of the shootings he was always in “Joker Mode.”
The key to this Joker is having an open mind. Please don’t be one of those people who judge a book by it’s cover and just accept the new Joker for what he has to offer. Remember when Heath was cast to play the Joker and how much HATE he got? Yeah, we didn’t forget.
There’s not much to say about the new Joker since the movie hasn’t come out yet (August 5th, 2016) so let’s just wait and see.
ADVANTAGE: Has that psychopathic aspect we’ve been wanting.
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